The way many people think of a boating holiday is lazily gliding along a canal or the Norfolk Broads or any of the other waterways of Britain on a lovely summers day. There’s so much more to Boating Holidays in Britain.
First off – it is a fantastic way for the whole family to see the countryside (and maybe each other) from a whole new perspective.
Travelling on a boat slows the pace of life and provides relaxation and a real escape from the stresses of daily life.
A Boating Holiday in Britain has everything to re-charge your batteries.
The Scenery, Nature and Wildlife – awaken to the sound of birds, marvel at nature in all her glory as she shows herself on the waterways and the adjoining countryside. Around every bend are sights new most city dwellers. Step off the boat and enter a world to explore on foot or by bicycle. Discover nature reserves teaming with wildlife and be surprised how easy they are to access from the waterways.
Freedom and Relaxation – take it easy. Travel as far as you want, stop when and where you want, explore what takes your fancy. It’s your holiday, no timetables or routines and since the speed limit on most waterways is 4-6 mph, there’s no hurry to get to where you’re going. Leave the world behind as much or as little as you want – glide past the towns and villages or stop to explore – your choice!
Restaurants and Pubs – Waterside eateries and watering holes are just a step away. Moor the boat and step ashore for a tempting choice just waiting for you to discover.
Shopping, Sightseeing and Walking the Dog – Again, just moor up and you are there! Often within walking distance, your mooring is the starting point for exploring villages, towns and even cities along the waterways of Britain. Castles, museums, shops, cathedrals, restaurants, night life and so much more is just waiting for you to step ashore.
Well behaved dogs are welcome on most boats and the peace of the banks and tow paths offer not only picturesque walking but the added adventure of nature up close for both you and your dog!
Can’t leave your creature comforts behind? You don’t have to, boats have all the mod/cons.
You’ll find the boat gives you plenty of headroom, the living area offers real comfort with TV for entertainment, the kitchen is equipped with the necessities – cooker, frig and even microwaves, there are flush toilets and a shower or bathroom that’s fully equipped. Beds come with sprung or foam mattresses for dreamless sleep and there’s enough storage space for a whole family.
To check out the possibilities for your next holiday – step into a very different type of getaway.
The Questions Most Frequently Asked:
1. Where and how far can I go?
Firstly, you can travel anywhere in the waters covered by your boat’s licence. Most waterways limit your speed to a maximum of 4 to 7mph so if you cruise for about 4 hours a day, in a week means you cover about 80-100 miles.
Check on the sidebar for a list of destinations and click through for the details.
2. How do I know where I can stop?
Information about mooring places is contained in the manual on board your boat. Towns and villages, plus restaurants and waterside pubs are the most popular places to moor (at certain places there may be a small charge for mooring) however there are many lovely, quiet places you can moor free of charge. Mooring on any canal towpath and at any Environment Agency mooring is free of charge.
The people at the boatyard will also show you exactly what you need to do to moor up.
3. Do I need special training or equipment to be safe?
You will receive the safety training you need from the staff at the boatyard before you start your journey. Be sure to bring sensible non-slip shoes with you. Buoyancy aids for any non-swimmers any children are provided free of charge. All the safety information you’ll need is contained in the boat manual that’s onboard the boat.
At least two people on the boating holiday should be able to jump off and back on the boat to work the locks and moor the boat.
4. Where will we be able to get drinking and washing water?
The boat comes with a full tank of water and has hot and cold running water for the kitchen and shower. Water tanks can be topped at any public mooring (there is usually a small charge).
5. Can I use electrical equipment like my hairdryer, etc.?
Many boats have 240v systems, however this doesn’t mean you can all the electrical equipment you want with you. Mostly, you’ll need to use the appliances supplied on the boat.
Boats have electric shaver points and many also have a 12v accessory socket similar to those found in cars. Electrical items that can operate on a car adapter will operate from this socket. This includes digital cameras, camcorders, mobile phones and their chargers but do bring along your own leads and connecting plugs.
Always check at the time of making your booking to ensure the boat is equipped to handle 240v electrical appliances.
6. Can I bring my dog along?
One or two well-behaved dogs and pets are welcome on many of our boats and coming along free of charge. Useful information is available at dogsaway.co.uk. For more details go to defra.gov.uk website
Dogs and their people will enjoy the excellent walks a in the countryside and along the towpaths.
7. What are the rules involved with boating and do I need a boating licence?
There are some basic rules similar to the Highway Code only much simpler. And, no, you don’t have to get a boating licence. All this is explained in the comprehensive manual provided and the staff at the boatyard will be giving you boating tuition before the handover.
8. Does someone on the boating holiday need boating experience?
Not necessarily because you’ll receive expert tuition from the boatyard staff at the time you pick up your boat. They’ll give you all the help, training and answer all your questions so you’re really comfortable to take the helm and the manual onboard will give you reminders and tips about the boat and how to deal with various situations.
9. I don’t know anything about canal locks – what do I do?
It depends on where your boating holiday takes you – on British waterways the larger locks have lock keepers that will do the work for you e.g. the Caledonian Canal, parts of the Cambridgeshire Waterway and the Thames. The Norfolk Broads don’t have any locks to bother with.
However, when you do come across locks, it’s as easy as steering the boat gently into the lock and closing the gates behind you by using the big wooden beams. Then, using L-shaped winding handle provided with your boat, you open the small paddle doors in the other gates to change the water level by either letting the water in or out. Lastly, open the gates and drive out but be sure to close the gates and paddle doors after you.
10.How much will my fuel cost?
Depending on boat and waterway, typically for a week’s cruising the fuel cost is between £40-£100, in Scotland it may cost upwards of £130.